Saturday, September 5, 2015

History Brought To Life

Luther and Katharina
Jody Hedlund
A Novel of Love and Rebellion

Katharina von Bora has seen nothing but the inside of cloister walls since she was five. In a daring escape, Katharina finds refuge with Martin Luther and seeks his help to pair her with the noble, wealthy husband she desires.

As class tensions and religious conflicts escalate toward the brink of war, Martin Luther believes that each day could be his last and determines he will never take a wife.

As the horrors of the bloody Peasant War break out around them, the proud Katharina and headstrong Martin Luther fight their own battle for true love, in one of the greatest love stories of history.


In the 16th century, nun Katharina von Bora’s fate fell no further than the Abbey. Until she read the writings of Martin Luther.

His sweeping Catholic church reformation—condemning a cloistered life and promoting the goodness of marriage—awakened her desire for everything she’d been forbidden. Including Martin Luther himself.

Despite the fact that the attraction and tension between them is undeniable, Luther holds fast to his convictions and remains isolated, refusing to risk anyone’s life but his own. And Katharina longs for love, but is strong-willed. She clings proudly to her class distinction, pining for nobility over the heart of a reformer. They couldn’t be more different.

But as the world comes tumbling down around them, and with Luther’s threatened life a constant strain, these unlikely allies forge an unexpected bond of understanding, support and love. 

     I love when I'm able to find two synopses on the internet! We get to look at two different summaries that reveal two different things about the story without spoiling. I look at being like two different trailers for a movie. You just want more where you can get it!

     Jody Hedlund brought the first tale of Protestantism to life. So often we romanticize what these protesters had to suffered through, with history softened by fading memories and time. She brings a dose of heavy hitting reality back onto the scene with amazing artistry.

     The book reveals things about the church at that time that absolutely disgusted me and sent me into bursts of tears. The control exerted over what emotions the reader felt was simply inspiring. For example, have you ever thought about what nuns were subjected to? These women were under the control of basically a corrupt government. Think about how the church acted at that point. 

     I don't recommend that you read this book if things like that will set you on the offense. But if you are willing to face the facts surrounding people who weren't exactly a beacon of light, it truly is an amazing eye opening story. It blew my mind (and also made me want to beat a few people), and that is totally what we want from the books that we read. The information we put in is important.

     Martin Luther and Katharina's story is a true one, and their love was even more so. Their relationship, perseverance, devotion and faith remind us that God makes everything work towards our good.

     I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review! Happy Reading! 

Paintings Were Lost, Never to Be Found

Where Treasures Hide

Johnnie Alexander

     Artist Alison Schuyler spends her time working in her family’s renowned art gallery, determined to avoid the curse that has followed the Schuyler clan from the Netherlands to America and back again. She’s certain that true love will only lead to tragedy—that is, until a chance meeting at Waterloo station brings Ian Devlin into her life.

       Drawn to the bold and compassionate British Army captain, Alison begins to question her fear of love as World War II breaks out, separating the two and drawing each into their own battles. While Ian fights for freedom on the battlefield, Alison works with the Dutch Underground to find a safe haven for Jewish children and priceless pieces of art alike. But safety is a luxury war does not allow. 

      With the relatively recent release and promotion of The Monument's Men, interest in Nazi art thievery during World War Two has gone way up. This book isn't so much about American involvement in the war or about Jewish suffering, which tend to be the two things that World War Two fiction focus on, but instead about Dutch Europeans who had to deal with Nazis in power before the war started. The focus is on the art, and the smuggling and preservation of it.

     The love story between Alison and Ian is absolutely adorable! The relationship has a element of realism that a lot of romance oriented stories lack. Because the book takes place over the course of six years (1939-1945 ish) we get to see a more realistic time line for feelings to manifest as actual promises to one another. With the six years being covered there are quite a few time jumps. All the time jumps are surrounded by great context and detail, so we don't feel left out.

     I absolutely adored reading this book! I sped through the pages because it was just so important that I knew the ending. And now that I do, I have decided that a sequel is totally in order. Happy Reading! Don't forget to click on the cover to read an excerpt!

     If/When you finish the book, leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail and we can talk about it! I love to hear what everyone else thinks too!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.